Aren't there always those parts you wish you could play? Those roles in shows you know you'd be damn amazing at but because you're the wrong gender, age or vocal range the chances of getting to play them are extremely low...or non-existent! As a generic white female of an alto/mezzo range in her 20s, here are just some of the parts I wish I could play and why.
Effortlessly reaching the heights of a top E is something many ladies dream of. Floating up to that note in the title song like a majestic songbird and the audience applauding in pleasure at your magnificent voice. Alas, I'm more of a Fiona from Shrek when she sings to the bluebird and it pops.
Having that kind of a range is remarkable to me, and with sufficient training and time perhaps I could even reach those notes without passing out. As it stands, I believe my voice has broken so much that those notes will forever be just out of reach unless intentionally sung badly.
Carlotta it is!
One of my favourite films and subsequently a musical I urgently wish to see. Recently opened on Broadway, I have spent many hours watching videos and oggling at the superb set design - bravo team.
Perhaps I want to play this role for reasons of childhood nostalgia (Yes, I watched this frequently as a child, which explains many of my choices in this blog). Perhaps it's the chance to don that striped suit and tinge my hair mouldy green. Perhaps it's because I think having a female in that role would not make a blind bit of difference to the show overall. But if they choose to stick to gender specifics and staying true to the original film, for now I shall have to remain in good old fancy dress.
I have actually been in this show before, including being an onstage costume stripper (i.e. I stripped Joe Casey of his costume...) so I know Our House somewhat well. If you've never heard of it, it's written using songs from the band Madness, and is often affectionately known as the Madness Musical. This may also refer to the insanely demanding nature of the male lead, Joe, including 29 costume changes, some lasting 5 seconds. One scene I loved was the secretary scene, where Joe had to come on and off a number of times in different costumes in quick succession. The guy was dripping, the costume ladies were on form, and it was all set to an underscore so he couldn't be late. I do love a bit of pressure.
Another one I've been involved in as a chorus member. Not a huge fan of the other characters in this show I must admit so to me the only role worth playing is Norma Desmond. She has such a range of emotions and as an actor it's important to feel challenged. Finding a role you can invest in. And this is such a memorable part if you do it right. Standing ovations all round! For now, I am much too young to pull it off, but it's not entirely out of reach. I can live my Glenn Close dreams one day...
Mrs Lovett is a babe (and one day that part will be mine) but let's be honest, who wouldn't want to operate that barber's chair. Another demanding role with emotions off the scale and some cracking songs. And actually I could probably sing at that range better than Christine in Phantom! But unless this show has a serious gender reversal in tow Mrs Lovett it will have to be. All I can say is I have high expectations for any Sweeney who comes my way.
Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde
Can you see a theme in my choices here? It's getting a bit dark if you ask me, but I do love an alternative musical with dark themes and meaty characters (Sweeney pun fully intended). Jekyll and Hyde in the musical of the same name is a cracking part. My favourite song of multiple personalities is 'Confrontation'. I've seen it done really well...and also really badly. Whenever you see something performed that you're not a fan of, you can't help but think to yourself…'I wouldn't have done it like that'. Maybe that's the performer in me, maybe it's the director. Either way, I really want to give it a go!
Let's lighten things up a bit. I'm directing Annie soon and haven't thought about it in years, but started on the script recently and forgot how much I love this sassy little madam. She's not like your average child in a musical that mostly gets led around by the adults (Oliver I'm looking at you) but she's a decent part. Good songs, good range of scenes, plus a chance to see how bad you look in a ginger wig. What more could you want? Now to perfect my anti-aging potion...
Why am I so old now?! *cries self to sleep* If you haven't seen this show yet, go, if only to watch the insanely talented kids. I definitely don't remember being that disciplined when I was their age, and maybe if I'd discovered how much I love being in musicals when I was younger that could have been me up there.
Even if you weren't the title role, any of the school kids looks like so much fun! It's high energy and I absolutely loved Roald Dahl as a kid.
However, I think the chance of there ever being an adult Matilda is slim to none, unless it's some weird adult panto that slips through the net...but hey, if I could play Miss Trunchbull I would take it in a heartbeat! Scene stealers are my favourite.
This list could go on forever, so I'll stop there, but I'm interested; if you could play any role in any show, play or musical, no holes barred, who would you want to play and why?
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